Defending against Serious Kidnapping Charges in Fort Worth, Texas
Kidnapping - also called abduction - is a very serious criminal offense in Texas and across the United States. Kidnapping is a felony offense, and it often is accompanied by other criminal charges. Kidnapping can involve a stranger taking someone off the street, a parent abducting their child to withhold custody, and many other scenarios. In all cases, however, the penalties for a kidnapping conviction can be severe.
If you are accused of kidnapping under any circumstances, you need immediate legal representation. You need a serious defense for serious charges, so do not delay in contacting Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer Kyle Whitaker for assistance.
Kidnapping Charges and Penalties
Kidnapping involves knowingly and intentionally abducting another person. Abduction refers to taking someone and/or holding them against their will, so they are not free to leave. Kidnapping is generally a third-degree felony under Texas law.
Kidnapping charges can be escalated to aggravated kidnapping if one or more of the following is alleged:
- The defendant used the victim as a hostage or shield
- The defendant demanded a reward or ransom to release the victim
- The kidnapping was part of another felony offense or to escape after committing a felony
- The defendant intended to terrorize the victim or someone else
- The defendant had the intent to sexually violate or injure the victim
- The kidnapping was intended to interfere with a political or government function
- The defendant used or displayed a deadly weapon
Kidnapping is a third-degree felony in Texas, which means you can face two to ten years in state prison, as well as costly fines. Aggravated kidnapping is a first-degree felony, and a conviction can mean five to 99 years in state prison plus fines.
Defending Against Kidnapping Charges
If you are charged with kidnapping, the situation might seem hopeless. However, there are several different ways to defend against these charges to aim for a dismissal, an acquittal, or a reduction in charges and penalties. An experienced defense attorney can review the details of the allegations against you and identify the possible defense in your situation.
Some defenses might include:
- You did not have the intent to kidnap anyone
- You did not know about the presence of the victim
- You only wanted to gain lawful control of the victim
- Mistaken identity
There are other reasons why your charges might be reduced, including:
- You have no intent to cause harm or use deadly force
- You are a relative of the victim
- You let the victim go in a safe location
The defense strategy will vary in each case, so you should have a lawyer evaluate your options.
Contact a Fort Worth Abduction and Kidnapping Lawyer for Help
At the law office of criminal defense attorney Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, we represent criminal defendants facing many different charges, including kidnapping and abduction. Call 817-332-7703 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss your case as soon as possible.